Monday, May 20, 2013

Behind those Doors!

Her offer letter was given by Mr. Sheti, her manager. She was extremely happy on getting her first job. It was her dream to work with her mentor whom she idol-worshiped since childhood. She will work directly under his guidance. She was happy that her prayers were finally blessed. In some cases, excitement blurs a part of reality and misgivings creeps in silently that you cannot predict its depths. At that moment gestures and signs speaks louder than mere words. On the context of asking her about her work he started to call her in his cabin. Leaving behind so many employees he showed some queer interest on her.  Surprisingly calls to be in his cabin perked more frequently. He hardly bothered on how she was fairing professionally. He started to be frank and posted more personal questions. As a fresher she thought it is polite to answer. Maybe Mr. Sheti was just trying to be friendly so that she comfortably settled down in her new environment. She was not accustomed to IT norms and that “maybe” was a big question mark that disturbed her peace.

His constant pestering caused her sheer agony and pain. On many occasions he tried to grab her hands.  Physically he was trying to get very close. What was he trying to do?   She was confused about his intentions. It was wrong to doubt his intentions. After all he was her idol -worshiped mentor.  As time went on, he started to ask her to work late to meet her deadlines and would intentionally grab this occasion to drop her back. Knowing that she stayed alone in a flat he started asking her out for dinners. His gestures made her feel awkward and uncomfortable. Having no option left, she blatantly refused his offers.

The anguish and agony that she underwent is indescribable and cannot be put down in words.  Constant questions lucked on her head. Why would her mentor make physical moves at her? Was it a part of IT norm? If such things are normal, then it is highly unprofessional and unethical, she thought. It was her first job and she was unaccustomed to any IT norms. She was definitely harassed by his behavior. But again, why would someone so senior intentionally harass her. Was she also a silent victim of harassment?  May be it is normal and part and parcel of IT environment.  She had no definite answers to these questions. These questions will remain unanswered and silently flow into the archive of untold agony and pain that many women face.

Yes, she gave the thought of complaining to higher management. Again confusion had drawn thick clouds on her head.  What would happen next? Will she be able to convince that she was harassed by her mentor or will she be asked to quit her job?  At that point of life she cannot afford to fight some legal battle. Her career was at stake. She thought hard. She had a family to look after and most importantly what if no company hires her again. With these questions lurking back on her tired mind, silently without complaining she resigned from her job. 

Her act may appear cowardly to many of us. But think about putting yourself in situation what would you have done. You have worked your entire life to get yourself placed and work with your mentor and suddenly things starts to fall apart. What will we do is the decision that “we” have to make.

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